Why Am I Trying To Change?
One of the most heart searching questions I ever was faced with has been this—Why am I changing? Why do I want to change? Who am I changing for?
When I first saw all of the sin in my own heart about idolizing having control, my husband, pride, etc. I knew that I needed to change. I knew that I couldn’t change myself. I needed God to work in me by His Spirit, and I needed to be filled with His Spirit in order to see any changes. I couldn’t rely on myself—- I couldn’t just try to improve my “natural” self. I needed to surrender every part of my life to Christ as Lord—and allow HIM to work in me to will and to do of His good pleasure.
At first, I repented of my old ways, and I saw God working in my heart and it leading to some definite outward changes as well as inward.
I no longer:
- thought I was better than my husband or other people
- selfishly wanted all of my husband’s time/attention
- wanted to control other people and their lives
- disrespected my husband/son
- thought I knew what was best for me or other people
- idolized feeling loved/wanted
And I saw how God was empowering me by His Spirit to be full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, and self-control. It was amazing! And at first, my husband even responded so well to the changes. We were getting along so much better, and he finally felt free to be himself, without me trying to control his every move.
But then some things changed, and my husband was no longer responsive to my positive changes.
At this point, I thought that I had “earned” my husband’s love and attention, because I was beginning to change, after all! So when I didn’t get that, I was left feeling bitter, resentful, and angry, insecure, rejected, and scared.
It was at this point that I was faced with the question of: Why are you trying to change ? Who are you changing for?
When once I realized that after all that, I was not actually trying to change for God, I saw how because of this I was left feeling bitter/angry/scared. I was not out to please God at all. I was out to change in order that I might earn my husband’s love and attention. I believed that I was the problem in my marriage, so I figured if I changed, then my husband would have no reason to not want to be around me or talk to me, etc.
But things didn’t work out that way because this is the thing that is so hard to learn—NO ONE AND NOTHING BESIDES CHRIST WILL EVER BE ABLE TO SATISFY OUR HEARTS!
God will not allow us to chase after and find any other source of life apart from His Son Jesus!
In Christ alone is found true security, love, contentment, and peace.
It exposed my heart that I was not wanting God alone—I wanted my husband’s love/attention!
I had to dig deep and allow God to show me what was really going on in my heart!
What Am I so Afraid Of?
I had to stop and think about what I am actually afraid of in life when I find that I am acting off of fear, anxiety, and trying to control things in life. Addressing my deepest fears will tell me what I am clinging to that is not Christ, and what I am seeking to find security in that is not Christ alone.
My fears can be things like:
- afraid of my husband cheating on me
- afraid of my husband dying
- afraid of my husband divorcing me
- afraid of never being good enough to earn God’s presence/love
- afraid of not being good enough to keep my husband’s love/attention
- afraid of losing $
- afraid of not getting my way/having what I want that is so important to me
- afraid that something will happen to my child
- afraid that something will happen to me
- afraid my child will not come to Christ
- afraid I am not doing God’s will
We can be so scared of things and not even realize it. But if we look at how we are deciding things in life, and look at what we are trying to control in life, we will be able to recognize what we are holding onto that is not God. We will see what we are trying to find our security in life in that is not God alone.
Finding Security In ALL the Wrong Places
When I am insecure, it is because I am not trusting in Christ alone to meet all of my needs. I am fearful. I am afraid of losing something that I hold dear. How this plays out in life is by turning to all sorts of things for security that have absolutely no power to secure me.
If I find myself in fear and insecurity, I might look to these things to find security:
- my marriage
- my husband
- my husband’s job
- my husband’s love/attention
- how “good” I am
- getting my way, or being in “control”
Control Is An Illusion
Something the Lord has taken pains to show me over the past couple years is that control is just an illusion. When I am fearful and insecure about something, I have two choices.
- I can hold onto “control”, and really not have it, and still be full of fear.
- I can truly let go of all “control”, surrendering to Christ as Lord and be free from the fear!
God alone is in control. He alone is Sovereign over ALL things. When I have surrendered all to Christ as Lord over my life, I am abiding under the shadow of the Almighty God! Yes, trials and storms will still come, but if I abide under the shadow of the Almighty through them all, I am kept safe and secure in His love and in His Sovereign hands.
If I believe that my security in life rests on changing in order to get what I want from my husband or in life, then I am setting myself up for destruction and despair.
CHANGING FOR THE RIGHT REASONS
I have begun to see that the only reason I should ever change is because I belong to God and He has an eternal purpose to conform those He has called to the image of Christ. He is changing me inwardly—– to have the Spirit of Christ! The only reason for my changing is because GOD HAS A PLAN! Many are the plans in men’s heart—but the Lord’s purposes prevail!
God is Sovereign, and what I have learned is that when we belong to Him, when we are truly born again, He will not allow us to chase after things or people, or find security in people or things of this earth.
He alone is worthy of all my trust and praise.
In Him is true security found because when I am in Christ, and His Spirit is leading me, and I am dead to my self, my will is His will, and nothing can thwart God’s plans for my life! I am safe while I abide in Christ!
When I set off to find my own resources of security in this life, I will not obtain them. God will not allow that!
As God changes me inwardly and outwardly, He is then free to use me however He chooses—and He is free to work in other people’s hearts all around me because I am no longer trying to control other people’s choices/lives. I am free to be me, and I am free to change at the pace that God sets. I don’t have to strive anymore to do or be something in order to gain another human’s love and approval!
I am who GOD says I am 🙂